Wilson school spending hikes offset by cutbacks - The Buffalo News
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Wilson school spending hikes offset by cutbacks

WILSON – Anticipated spending increases in special education and benefits in the Wilson School District’s proposed budget for 2014-15 will be offset by the consolidation of two elementary schools, elimination of personnel and continued sharing of a superintendent with Newfane, according to school officials.

The district is consolidating two elementary schools, cutting 6ø positions and sharing its top administrator in an effort to reduce spending in the proposed 2014-15 budget.

A public hearing on the $24.5 million spending plan will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the auditorium at the high school, 374 Lake St.

Last year, Wilson was one of only three districts in the state to operate under a contingency budget after voters defeated the proposed budget twice.

The district will close W.H. Stevenson Elementary School in Ransomville next month and transfer the students to Thomas Marks Elementary School in Wilson for the 2014-15 school year.

Superintendent Michael Wendt said the district also is proposing the elimination of positions across the district for 2014-15 in addition to continuing to share his services with Newfane at a savings to the two districts.

“Last year, it was readily apparent that taxpayers took issue with the budget we presented,” he said. “This year, we’ve held our budget-to-budget expenses flat, from 2013-14 to 2014-15. We’ve held our tax levy increase to 1 percent – well under our 2 percent cap. We’ve taken proactive measures to reduce expenses by consolidating our elementary schools and sharing a superintendent, and reducing other costs to build an acceptable 2014-15 budget. We hope people come out to vote May 20.”

The proposed budget represents no increase in spending over the current budget, but a $110,000, or 1 percent, increase in the tax levy is anticipated for an estimated $11 million tax levy.

Voters also will also be asked to consider six candidates for three seats on the School Board when they go to the polls from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the high school auditorium. The candidates are: incumbents George Waters, who is the current board president, and Donald DeLisi; former board member Timothy Kropp; Patricia Munnikhuysen; Cynthia Smith; and Frank Cipolla.

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